Marcella Samora is best known for being the mother of the late international pop sensation Selena Quintanilla, as well as the wife of the singer, songwriter and record producer Abraham Quintanilla Jr.
Early life, family, educational background
Marcella Samora was born on 17 July 1944, in Washington DC, USA, to a Texan father and a Coloradan mother. Her nationality is American and she belongs to Mexican-American and Cherokee-Indian ethnicity. Since Samora tends to keep her life away from spotlight, there are no details revealing her early life, except that she spent most of it in Washington, DC. Information about her educational background has not been revealed to the public either.
Being a quite secretive person, the media lacks any information about Samora’s career. She initially became recognised as the wife of Abraham Quintanilla Jr., and became famous when her daughter Selena achieved enormous success.
Personal life, marriage with Abraham Quintanilla
Samora met Quintanilla in 1961, when he was serving in the military. They married in 1963 and welcomed their first child the same year, a son named Abraham who later became a well-known record producer. Their second child, actress Suzette Michelle Quintanilla, was born in 1967. Prior to the birth of their third child in 1971, the late Selena Quintanilla, Samora was diagnosed with a tumor, and it was during her medical examinations that she found out that she was pregnant with Selena.
Samora has been married to Quintanilla for over 58 years – they now have nine grandchildren. Following Selena’s murder in 1995, Samora fought along with other members of her family to get justice for her daughter. She has since taken care of Selena’s estate, while also being involved in the non-profit organization The Selena Foundation, along with other family members and Selena’s ex-husband. The foundation is aimed at motivating underprivileged children to pursue education, and strive to be better human beings.
As her daughter was a major influence in the Hispanic community, Samora has dedicated herself to securing her daughter’s legacy for the future generations.
Who is Abraham Quintanilla?
Quintanilla was born in Corpus Christi, Texas USA, to Abraham Gonzalez Quintanilla Sr. and Maria Tereza Calderon, Jehovah’s Witnesses who worked on gleaning fruits, vegetables and cotton. His involvement in music started when he left high school to join a group called Los Dinos, consisting of his alumni classmates, with which he performed various original songs and covers, eventually releasing two singles. However, they often faced discrimination due to their Mexican descent, and experienced many rejections because of that. In 1961, Quintanilla was drafted into the military, being based near Tacoma, Washington State, then upon being discharged in 1963, he re-joined the band.
Los Dinos ultimately changed their musical genre to Chicano rock, and released a single entitled “Con esta copa” which immediately became a hit. As their popularity decreased in the late ‘60s, Quintanilla eventually left the band, and Los Dinos split in the mid ‘70s. Quintanilla relocated with his family to Lake Jackson, Texas, working for the production company Dow Chemicals. Upon noticing a talent for music in Selena, he started focusing on her music skills, forming a new group in 1981 consisting of his children, fronted by Selena, and called Selena y Los Dinos. Not long after, Quintanilla opened up a music-oriented Mexican restaurant called Papágayos, in which the siblings performed.
However, as the restaurant was hit by the recession in 1982, he was forced to close it. They moved back to Corpus Christi, performing on street corners and various parties, with Quintanilla serving as their manager. The group went professional in the mid ‘80s, releasing several albums and establishing a decent recognition before Selena started a solo career at the end of the decade.
In 1993 Quintanilla founded a record company in Corpus Christi, Q-Productions, specialized in Latin music, while also working on film and video. Besides Selena, the company’s contributing artists include Los Tres Reyes, Jennifer Peña and La Fuerza.
Following his daughter’s death in 1995, which made a strong impact on Quintanilla, resulting in emotional trauma and depression, he became involved in numerous activities promoting and maintaining her legacy. Quintanilla served as co-producer of the 1997 biopic film “Selena”.
Daughter Selena Quintanilla
Samora’s daughter Selena became highly successful during her short life and career as a singer, model, songwriter, actress and fashion designer. She began to gain popularity even as a child, becoming the lead singer of the Los Dinos band in 1981. Being the breakout star of the family band, she began her solo career in the late ‘80s, signing with EMI Latin records and releasing her self-titled debut album.
— Selena (@SelenaLaLeyenda) May 8, 2019
Her second album entitled “Ven Conmigo” followed in 1990, becoming the first Tejano record to achieve gold record status. Selena’s popularity boosted. Two years later she released her third album entitled “Entre a Mi Mundo”, reaching a great commercial success.During this time, she married Chris Perez, whom she’d been secretly dating since 1990 when Perez joined Los Dinos as the lead guitarist. The couple was married for nearly three years before Selena passed away. Selena went on to release her Grammy Award winning album “Live!” in 1993, becoming the first female Tejano artist to take home a Grammy. Her next album, the 1994 “Amor Prohibido”, became one of the best-selling Latin albums in the US.
Selena’s success made her one of the most celebrated artists of the late 20th century, as well as one of the most influential Latin artists of all time, who put Latin music on the mainstream market. A music sensation, she was dubbed the Queen of Tejano music, a type of Mexican music that incorporated other styles, making the genre one of the most listened one in Texas. Besides her career in music, Selena got herself involved in acting, appearing as a singer in the hit 1994 movie “Don Huan DeMarco” starring Johnny Depp and Marlon Brando. In addition, she had her own line of clothing, running two boutiques, ‘Selena Etc. boutiques’. She was also involved in various charitable work, and was a spokesperson for Coca Cola.
In 1995, at the height of her career, Selena was murdered by her boutique manager and friend Yolanda Saldivar in a hotel in Corpus Christi, apparently in conflict over some business issues. Reportedly, the Quintanillas found out that Saldivar had embezzled a significant amount of money from Selena’s fan club of which she was the president, which resulted in her taking a gun and shooting Selena. Being wounded in an artery she bled out and died before arriving to hospital. Selena was just 23 years of age when she died. Saldivar was sent to prison for life, with the possibility of parole after 30 years. Selena last album, “Dreaming of You”, was released posthumously in 1995.
Samora has grey hair and brown eyes. She is 5ft 2ins (1.60 m) tall and weighs around 145 lbs (65kg). Her other body measurements are unknown to the media.
Samora’s net worth has not been disclosed to sources, but her husband has a net worth estimated at over $10 million which she no doubt shares, and her son $5 million. According to sources, the net worth of her late daughter was $25 million at the time of her death.